We ☠ Eclipse

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Over the years, I’ve used a variety of editions of Eclipse with a variety of plugins. These days I try and minimize all of that and ask Eclipse to do as little as possible as infrequently as plausible. The below is a diary of sorts of the events that led to that choice.

A selection of ways Eclipse has failed me:

  • It lies about custom key bindings being set, doesn’t actually set them despite indicating it has, and stores the bindings in the robust and never problematic Java-properties+XML standard format resulting in configuration files that look like this:


    eclipse.preferences.version=1
    org.eclipse.ui.commands=<?xml version\="1.0" encoding\="UTF-8"?>\n<org.eclipse.ui.commands>\n<activeKeyConfiguration keyConfigurationId\="org.eclipse.ui.emacsAcceleratorConfiguration"/>\n<keyBinding commandId\="org.eclipse.jdt.ui.edit.text.java.search.references.in.project" contextId\="org.eclipse.ui.contexts.window" keyConfigurationId\="org.eclipse.ui.emacsAcceleratorConfiguration" keySequence\="COMMAND+SHIFT+V"/>\n<keyBinding commandId\="org.eclipse.ui.window.previousPerspective" contextId\="org.eclipse.ui.contexts.window" keyConfigurationId\="org.eclipse.ui.emacsAcceleratorConfiguration" keySequence\="ALT+COMMAND+CTRL+ARROW_LEFT"/>\n</org.eclipse.ui.commands>
    overridepresentation=true

    Normally I could care less what format software stores its config files in, but despite the braindead format I’ve still had better luck editing this file by hand than trying to get Eclipse to handle it correctly. If your config file format is too error-prone for your software to handle, maybe it’s time for a change.

The fundamental paradox of Stack Overflow’s requirement of objectivity

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Stack Overflow requires that questions be largely objective, but is based around a voting system that would be largely unnecessary if all questions actually were. The requirement for objectivity can be readily tested by asking a subjective question and watching how quickly it’s removed, but it’s also made explicit in their blog posts:

Stack Exchange is about questions with objective, factual answers.

their FAQ:

…open-ended questions diminish the usefulness of our site…

and the reasons a question might be closed:

We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or specific expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion.

The message is quite clear: objective good, subjective bad.

Preventing spurious “error: failed to push some refs” messages from git

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Kitten in a shoe

On larger Git projects, I often see the following scenario play out after someone’s done some work and is ready to push it to the remote repo:

...making and committing changes to "develop" branch...
$ git pull
Already up-to-date.
$ git push
Counting objects: 5, done.
Delta compression using up to 8 threads.
Compressing objects: 100% (3/3), done.
Writing objects: 100% (3/3), 363 bytes, done.
Total 3 (delta 0), reused 0 (delta 0)
To git@github.com:test-repo/test_repo.git
   e8c1210..1a0c4d4  develop -> develop
 ! [rejected]        new_feature -> new_feature (non-fast-forward)
error: failed to push some refs to 'git@github.com:test-repo/test_repo.git'
To prevent you from losing history, non-fast-forward updates were rejected
Merge the remote changes (e.g. 'git pull') before pushing again. See the
'Note about fast-forwards' section of 'git push --help' for details.

Fast and slow-motion video with ffmpeg

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In my last installment we looked at all the reasons why editing video isn’t as easy as it should be.  Let’s assume that we’ve cleared those hurdles, and now actually want to do some video editing from the command line.  A not-uncommon video effect is fast- and slow-motion, sped-up or slowed-down video.  Being common, you’d think it would be readily available in any video editing software, but you’d be wrong.  Out of respect for all its other virtues, we’ll be using ffmpeg today.